Siestas or mid-afternoon naps have traditionally been an important part of the Spanish culture, with most cities shutting down, while people snoozed, following a leisurely lunch. However, thanks to the busy modern lifestyle, it is starting to become an endangered custom. Now, a newly formed group entitled National Association of Friends of the Siesta, is attempting to revive the tradition with, a Siesta Competition.

The rules are quite simple - Five competitors at a time are asked to lie down on bright blue sofas and take a 20-minute snooze, right in the midst of a bustling Madridmall. The competitor who manages to sleep the longest, as determined by a doctor bearing a pulse-measuring device, wins. Bonus points are awarded to people who snore (monitored by a machine, which measures decibels emitted) and to those wearing outlandish pajamas.

The competition is scheduled to go on for nine days, with eight contests held each day. The longest snoozer in each session, is awarded a gift card and a chance to enter their name for the final prize of about $1,400USD, which will be handed out on October 23rd to . . . . . The longest, noisiest and most bizarrely dressed snoozer.

Judging from the response so far, the Spaniards seem to be enjoying this new challenge, with competitors showing up with stuffed animals, wacky pajamas and even sleeping masks to drown out the mall lights. 47-Year old Fermin Lominchar took home a $43 USD gift card as winner of the inaugural sleeping session, after logging a full 18 minutes of snooze time. While he pretended to snore, it was not good enough to fool either the machine or the judges. Carmen Lopez Valdeon took home the best attire prize with her thick fuzzy pink pajamas that sported violet daises, and were accessorized with green fuzzy socks.

While it is debatable whether this competition will help the endangered siesta, it sure sounds like fun and good to know, that you do not always lose when you snooze!,,